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Moving to Move Up: Most Millennials Will Relocate for a Job

Moving to Move Up: Most Millennials Will Relocate for a Job
Credit: Bikeriderlondon/Shutterstock

Many millennials aren't just willing to hop from job to job to advance their careers; they're also prepared to move from city to city to get a leg up, new research shows.

In the study, nearly 85 percent of the millennial workers, or those ages 18 to 35, surveyed said they are willing to move to a new city for a job. Moreover, 82 percent said relocating is necessary to climb the corporate ladder, according to the study from Graebel, a provider of relocation services.

Bill Graebel, president and CEO of Graebel, said that, 20 years ago, a much smaller portion of the workforce — typically, C-level executives — expected to relocate for career advancement.

"Now we're seeing a significant shift toward younger employees relocating, sometimes internationally, and it's changing how companies think about talent acquisition and retention, and how employees map their lives and careers," Graebel said in a statement. "Millennials embrace the notion of relocating as a catalyst for achieving career goals."

Many of these U.S. workers surveyed said they wouldn't limit their relocation to cities in the U.S.: More than 40 percent of those surveyed would be willing to move abroad for a new job. When relocating abroad, millennials are more motivated by money than experiences: The study found that 65 percent of the millennials surveyed would move to a foreign country for a higher salary, compared with just 35 percent who would relocate for the experience. [See Related Story: Willingness to Relocate Could Give Job Hunters Big Edge]

The experts we spoke with said that, before relocating, it is important to take the necessary steps. Research the areas you are considering moving to, reach out to your network of contacts to see if they may have any leads on jobs in the cities you want to move to and be honest with potential employers about your relocation plans, experts said. You can read more on how to get a job out of state here.

New York tops the list of dream U.S. cities for millennial employees. Here are the top U.S. cities millennials want to relocate to most:

  1. New York
  2. Los Angeles
  3. Miami
  4. Seattle
  5. San Francisco

These are the most attractive international cities for U.S. millennials:

  1. London
  2. Paris
  3. Sydney
  4. Tokyo
  5. Berlin

Many of the millennials surveyed said they would give up a lot to work in one of their dream cities. More than 80 percent of those surveyed would be willing to take a pay cut if necessary to relocate to a dream destination, 71 percent would be willing to postpone marriage and 72 percent would be willing to postpone having children.

The study was based on surveys of 500 U.S. millennials ages 18 to 35.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.